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4th BCT heading home
Soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, carry a simulated casualty to an aid station for treatment after he was evacuated by air after being wounded by hostile fire in the Al Ghazi Province (the name of a simulation training area.) The scenario was part of the training the soldiers, who are stationed at Fort Stewart, participating in at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. - photo by Army photo
The soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team have completed what was described as a very successful rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., and will begin flights home next week.
The brigade is scheduled for deployment to Iraq in September as part of the 35,000 soldiers identified by the Pentagon this week as replacement units for units already in Iraq.
The brigade includes the 1-76 Field Artillery, the 4-3 Brigade Troops Battalion, the 3-7 Infantry, the 4-64 Armor, the 703rd Forward Support Battalion and the 6-8 Cavalry.
The 4th “Vanguard” Brigade is the last 3rd ID unit on the current deployment schedule. It returned to Stewart in January.
It is one of 10 Army brigades that will deploy between August and the year’s end to serve as replacement forces for those returning home, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters. The Pentagon says the units will deploy for up to 15 months.
Whitman emphasized that the announcement is unrelated to the troop surge under way to increase security in Baghdad.
“Let me be real clear about this,” he said. “This deployment ... is not a decision with respect to the surge. It is simply identifying the next 10 units that will receive deployment orders and to provide the kind of predictability” they need to prepare.
Any decision regarding the surge will be based “entirely upon the conditions on the ground,” Whitman said.
Army Gen. David Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, is expected to assess those conditions later this year and make recommendations regarding the surge to the commander of U.S. Central Command, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defense secretary and president, Whitman said.
Other major units receiving deployment orders include:
— 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas;
— 1st, 2nd and 3rd Brigades, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.;
— 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, La.;
— 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood;
— 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii;
— 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Stryker), Vilseck, Germany; and
— 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany.
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